THE JÁVEA MONUMENT THAT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT!


There is a monument in Jávea, right around the corner to the main square, that has slipped into disrepair and abandonment, and yet it is a remarkable piece of historical and architectural value. This is the monument that no one in Jávea ever talks about, but why?



* Report by Arts Historian and Educator , Karla Darocas, Hons. B.A. (SpainLifestyle.com)
* Copyright Karla Darocas 2018* (no part of this text or photos may be replicated)

When I discovered it, I was quick to admire its Valencian Gothic architectural build with Isabelline style decorations, popular with the Crown of Castile during the reign of Catholic Monarchs.

This fabulous monument standing in front of me was made from sand stone blocks, as was the traditional building material chiseled from the sea front of this village as a cheap and easy building substance.

I noticed a Yoke and Arrows shield, which was the symbol for the Spanish co-monarchy of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It served as the emblem of these Catholic monarchs, representing a united Spain and the the heroic virtues of their families. It was also an allusion to the names of the monarchs: Y stood for "yugo" (sp. yoke) and for "Ysabel" (in contemporary spelling) and F stood for "flechas" (sp. arrows) and for Fernando.


emblem - click photo to enlarge
Other Isabelline motifs present were the "beads" or "orbs" that thread their way around the monument and the upward decorative "ogee arches" that are built into the facade. These pretty arches many look Muslim but they are very much Gothic and of the Isabelline period.
Isabelline Decorations = click to enlarge
On the other side, once again the Isabelline motifs prevail include the corner pinnacles rising up to the sky and the fantastic animal gargoyles, which are just water spouts, so that water doesn't dribble on the monument. Sadly, however, lots of water, mold and decay had damaged much of this monument. Also, common to Isabelline design are heraldic shields and at first glace I thought that the pronounced crest on the upper point of the Gothic arch to be that of the Catholic Monarchs too.

Isabelline decorative pinnacles and facade arches and shield
click to enlarge
This heraldic shield was divided into four with the coats of arms of Castile, León, Aragon and Navarre, plus the enté-en-point or apex for Granada. There was also the arrows and the yoke, again representing the Catholic Monarchs. Plus, wrapped around the shield was a proud eagle representing the Eagle of Saint John the Evangelist, which Queen Isabella I of Castile used on her evangelist crest. This eagle looked more masculine, but maybe it was the stone carver?

Valencian Gothic Ribbed Vault and Rose Cross
I marveled at this monument and its Gothic arches and ribbed vaults capped at the keys with discs, with a grand stone carved Apostle’s Cross.

I took some photos of the monument and went home to do my research and put a name and story to my discovery of the day!

However, it was with grave frustration that I could not find anything on TripAdvisor or any of the official tourist type website about this gem of architecture?

So, I contacted some friends who are Jáveaites, born and bred, and they knew nothing about it?

I had another friend contact a local historian, and all he said was that this monument was not "talked about". I didn't know what that was suppose to mean?

I finally found this newspaper article, from 2015, that cleared up the mystery.

http://lamarinaplaza.com/2015/08/28/xabia-aprueba-el-proyecto-que-eliminara-sus-simbolos-franquistas/


THE STORY GOES...

The name of the monument is called "la Cruz Cubierta de la Plaza del Trinquet" and it was built, not in the 1400's, the same as the church that stands just around the corner, but in 1954.

Yes, indeed it mimics the 15th century Valencian Gothic vaulting techniques and Isabelline designs but it was built by Francoists as a tribute to their "fallen" followers. The shields that flanked the facades were not tributes to the Catholic Monarchs but adopted symbols to enhance Franco's coat-of-arms. He had taken the existing Spanish crown identifiers and modified them to suit his new state of government.

According to this article in the La Marina Plaza online newspaper, Jávea had been asked to destroy the monument in respect to a law which prohibited Franco symbols in public places. The law is called "Ley de Memoria Histórica" and it was approved by the Congress of Deputies on 31 October 2007.

The law is quit intensive and you can read all about it in Wikipedia, but in a nutshell, and what concerns us here, is the following:

"The law establishes that "shields, badges, plaques and other objects or commemorative mentions of personal or collective exaltation of the military uprising, of the Civil War and of the repression of the dictatorship" should be removed from buildings and public spaces."

Again, according to this newspaper article written in October 2014, a budget from Jávea townhall was requested for the purpose of removing the shields. However, it was a large sum of money and at the end of the fiscal year the municipal coffers did not have enough money, hence nothing was done.

It was also pointed out in the article that when the shields were finally removed that they would not be destroyed but stored in a municipal warehouse, which from a historical point of view made sense.

HOWEVER, luckily for any of us who study the arts and architectural history, the monument and its shields still stands, even though it is are not admired nor taken care of, but at least it is not packed up in a warehouse.

Franco shield not Catholic Monarchs  
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